White Ribbon Day: Friday 23 November

November 15, 2018

White Ribbon Day is Australia’s national day for raising awareness of men’s violence against women, and how to prevent it.

Why we ALL need to spread the message and help STOP domestic violence!

Recent reports of homicide and violence against women in the Australian media have shocked and saddened us all. But the statistics are even more distressing. On average, one Australian woman is murdered by her current or former partner every week.

According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey:

  • 1 in 2 women experienced sexual harassment during her lifetime.
  • 1 in 5 women experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
  • 1 in 4 women experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15.

Domestic violence not only impact on a woman’s physical and mental health, many children are exposed to domestic violence, and experience child abuse, harassment and family violence.

This week, Dr Jeff Hall presented a men’s health seminar to General Practice registrars in Wollongong. ‘An important part of my presentation focused on violence prevention,’ said Dr Hall.

‘Violence against women occurs in all parts of society but risk factors for men include substance abuse, unemployment and having grown up in family with domestic violence.’

What can you do?

‘Men’s violent, controlling behaviour rarely stops spontaneously and will require acknowledgement and long-term management. I encourage men who have used violence to speak confidentially with their GP who can refer them to a behaviour change program,’ he said.

‘Most women who experience domestic violence seek help from their GP,’ said Dr Julie Blaze. ‘At Bulli Medical Practice, we encourage women who have experienced violence to make an appointment and talk to their GP. They can also access community-based support services and the 1800 RESPECT hotline (1800 737 732).’

‘We all have an important role to play in breaking cycles of violence,’ said Dr Hall. ‘We must challenge sexist attitudes and behaviours and promote respectful relationships. We must stop the violence before it starts.’

Tips for speaking out.

Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when someone makes an inappropriate statement about women or behaves inappropriately towards a woman. Try one of the following tactics.

  • If you are with friends and someone says something that makes you uncomfortable or that you feel is wrong, you can say: “I’m not sure what you mean. What did you say?”
  • Sometimes people forget they are talking about a real person. To remind them and change the conversation, you can say: “What if this was your sister/daughter/son?”
  • Give your opinion to show your disapproval: “I believe abusing a woman is wrong.”
  • If you are with a group of people, you’re probably not the only one feeling uncomfortable. Let others know they are not alone and encourage them to speak up by asking: “Am I the only one uncomfortable with this?”

For more information visit:

If you witness violence.

Always keep yourself and others safe. Call 000 in an emergency. You can also:

  • call the police
  • be a witness — stand somewhere close but safe so the violent person knows they are being watched
  • ask for help from people near you.

For more information visit:

Talking to men who are using violence against women.

If you talk to someone you think is violent to women, they will probably tell you to mind your own business, make excuses or deny it.

If you see violence and abuse, and you feel safe, talk about the behaviour you have seen: “You are my friend but I think the way you criticise and intimidate her is wrong.”

Encourage him to contact the ‘No to Violence’ men’s referral service: 1300 766 491 which provides assistance, information and counselling to help men who use family violence.

For more information visit:

Talking to women experiencing violence.

If you find out about violence, you can:

  • talk to the woman and let her know you are willing to help her.
  • encourage her to call the toll free 24 hour hotline: 1800 737 732 for counselling regarding sexual assault, family and domestic violence.
  • Keep in touch with the woman on a regular basis and encourage her to use support services.

For more information visit: